Singer-songwriter and guitarist DUDLEY TAFT is a tour de force in the blues world. His unique sound—Delta riffs and Texas sagebrush served with edgy Seattle rock intensity—reflects the eclectic journey of his 30 plus years in music. Dudley embraces the Blues—the foundation of all the great late ‘60s and early ‘70’s rock he loved as a teen. Local guitar hero Rob Swaynie in Indianapolis taught Dudley the value of music theory interspersed with B.B King, Led Zeppelin and ZZ Top riffs. Taft's background includes study at the renown Berklee College of Music; and years touring with the hard-rock bands Sweet Water and Second Coming.
His freshman blues release, "Left for Dead", did well. It received rave reviews worldwide as Taft performed key live shows in the United States and Europe. "Left for Dead" was praised in write-ups in the United States and overseas; it sold as many copies in Germany, as well as other parts of Europe and the United States. With several major festivals under his belt— including Portland’s Waterfront Blues Festival and Blues By The Sea Festival in Il Waco, Washington—Taft released his sophomore project, "Deep Deep Blue", to critical acclaim in 2013:
“Dudley Taft has yet again proven his staple in today’s blues rock scene with his upcoming album, Deep Deep Blue... His current album builds on his debut, Left For Dead, with countless hit after hit. Taft’s classic rock approach garners uncanny comparison to past greats. Taft embodies the eclectic bluesy style of a Clapton or Beck, with the edgy vocals of a Billy Gibbons. Deep Deep Blue is one hell of a ride, start to finish.”
- Blues Rock Review
Dudley is a thinking man’s blues rocker. During an interview with Premier Guitar Magazine last fall Dudley states:
“ 'Left for Dead' was really about me experimenting—writing songs in new directions. My first idea was to start a ZZ Top cover band, and that led me to study Freddie King—and that really made me immerse myself in the players of the blues. It opened up my playing and writing in a lot of new ways… I like blues because it touches on dark and heavy things. There’s a turn of a melody behind certain chords that has a flavor to it that you don’t get from blues and you see it in bands nowadays like Radiohead. I’ve always believed that it’s important to have old and new influences.“
Old and new influences continue to inspire Dudley’s blues journey. His music can be heard in movies and on television, most notably "The Sixth Sense", "That Metal Show" and "Gene Simmon's Family Jewels". His highly anticipated third blues album is described below:
Guitar Master Dudley Taft Is Screaming in the Wind on Latest CD, Coming May 20 from American Blues Artist Group
New Album of Blues-Rock Produced by Grammy-Winner Tom Hambridge Features Special Guest Reese Wynans on Keyboards
CINCINNATI, OH – Blues-rock guitarist Dudley Taft announces a May 20 release date for his new CD, Screaming in the Wind, on his American Blues Artist Group label. The new album was produced by Grammy-winner Tom Hambridge, best-known for his work with Buddy Guy, Susan Tedeschi, George Thorogood and Johnny Winter, and recorded at The Switchyard and Rendering Plant in Nashville, as well as Taft’s new Muchmore Studio in Cincinnati. The new recording facility is part of the house and property Dudley recently purchased from legendary guitarist Peter Frampton.
The new CD features a dozen songs, most of which are originals penned by Dudley Taft, including several co-written with Tom Hambridge (who also plays drums on a couple tracks) and Richard Fleming, plus scintillating covers of songs by Skip James (“Hard Time Killing Floor Blues”) and Freddie King (“Pack It Up”).
“Screaming in the Wind is my third solo effort and the first album I’ve done produced by someone outside the band. Several songwriting sessions in Nashville with producer Tom Hambridge and songwriter Richard Fleming helped the songs take shape before recording them,” says Taft. “It was refreshing to work with other great songwriters for the first time, and it gives Screaming in the Wind a different flavor.”
Taft’s regular band of John Kessler on bass and Jason Patterson drums is augmented by the addition of former Stevie Ray Vaughan keyboard player Reese Wynans on the sessions. “Reese plays some wicked B3 organ on the CD,” exclaims Taft. “He really shines on a bunch of the songs, elevating them to levels I never imagined. Check out his ripping solo on ‘The Reason Why’.”
Other special guests on Screaming in the Wind include the acclaimed McCrary sisters, who bring their smooth gospel harmonies to the song “Barrio,” while the Muscle Shoals Horn Section shines on “Pack It Up.”
“So far, I have done a Freddie King song on every CD, and this was no exception,” states Taft. “I love the funky vibe and tight arrangement of ‘Pack It Up.’ We poured gasoline on it and lit a match.”
The title track of the album started as a custom instrumental riff Taft did for the “American Blues Scene” website. “They told me it should be a song,” he recalls, “and I think it may have turned out to be one of the strongest on the album. Tom Hambridge and I worked hard to find the key imagery in the lyrics to tell the story.”
Speaking of instrumentals, Dudley Taft really cuts loose on the appropriately named track, “Red Line,” demonstrating why he’s been dubbed one of the hottest guitarists on the planet. Fans of classic ZZ Top riffs will be smiling from ear-to-ear when they hear Taft “spanking the plank” on that one.
“The riff from Skip James’ ‘Hard Time Killing Floor Blues’ got stuck in my head last year,” Taft remembers. “I thought giving it a Led Zeppelin ‘Black Dog kind of interpretation would make it fresh.”
The final song on the CD, “Say You Will,” has what Taft calls “an epilogue, where the gears shift and a David Gilmour influence surfaces, taking the listener off into oblivion. That was such a fun track to record!”
Dudley Taft’s last CD, Deep Deep Blue, released in May, 2013, received universal acclaim from fans and critics alike, including being named on several “best of” lists at the end of that year. He will support the new CD release with touring both in the U.S. and overseas, where he already has a European tour planned in May and June that will take him to the Netherlands and Germany.
To stream the track, “Hard Time Killing Floor Blues,” from Screaming in the Wind, click on this link: https://soundcloud.com/dudleytaft/hard-time-killing-floor-blues
To download a hi-res color photo of Dudley Taft, click here: http://www.markpuccimedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Dudley-Taft-Pic.jpg
For more information, visit www.dudleytaft.com